Monday, March 29, 2010

The Salon Wrap-Up for March 28, 2010!

Co-Host Frank Evans

As Sunday’s optional theme was “Never Before Heard,” singers and composers brought in newly minted songs, some cut songs from well known musicals to have their starring moment, and a few old gems were brought into the light. Co-Host Frank Evans, who is on the steering committee for BMI, started off by singing “Late Night TV” from his musical Abie's Island Rose (co-written lyrics with Richard Engquist). Among many other things, Frank is Producer on a brand new CD of BMI music “From the BMI Workshop: No More Revivals,” is co-writer (with Julie Gilbert) on a non-musical The Puma, which is to be a part of the New Jersey Rep’s 2010 season, and is also Producing Director of Musical Mondays. After Frank introduced the night’s theme, Lou Iacovino sang the uptempo Peter Nero tune “New York on a Sunday,” and Helena Grenot sang Michel Legrand tune “What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life.” Helena is performing her wonderfully titled show “Damned if I Know” on May 18th and 22nd at Don’t Tell Mama. Then lovely Barbara Porteus (at Feinstein’s July 31st and August 1st) sang an original song by Robert Hess (and with Hess on the piano) entitled “(If You) Get What You Want,” which had a hilariously unexpected twist at the end.

Ray Jessel then sang an original comedic song I had not previously heard but want to steal - “That Old Kurt Weill Song” – which utilized some great internal rhyme and classic Weill “ooph-chunk-chunk” orchestration. Then Kristi Webb, who is a soon-to-be-graduating student at Northwestern University, joined the stage with Ray to sing his hilarious song “I Think About…” (you fill in the blank). She had originally sung this for a showcase with Ray Jessel at the Second Stage Theater and we were happy to see her and hear this song for the first time!

Kathy Hart next came to the piano with a brand new song she wrote for a Good Friday service (she is a songwriter in residence for a church in the Upper West side) entitled “Is the Lord There?” Jennie Litt and David Alpher then brought up a quirky travel song they wrote called “The Voyage of the Manatee,” based on the true story of how a manatee was spotted in the Hudson River in 2006. Craig Pomerantz took the stage, returning from a successful run at Pizza on the Park in London. He artfully sang the short ballad “Rain Sometimes” by Arthur Hamilton. Then Richard Eisenberg sang his original piece “The First Time,” which he proudly described as “not on theme, not off theme, but OF theme,” and Kevin McMullan brought up the touching “Till A Moment Ago” by Jim Frederick. Peter Napolitano spoke through a hilarious and heartfelt essay about his experience as a 14 year old boy in the geriatric ward of a hospital. Sierra Rein (me!) went completely anti-theme with the ever-so-well-known “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” (my group Marquee Five was nominated for a MAC award on Thursday, and that same night I also won the Big Gay Idol competition through the NY City Gay Men’s Chorus!).

Then Etceterette Kathleen France (I didn’t know she was nominated for an EMMY! I’m serious! Check out her website!) sang “New York Romance” by Rusty Magee. Kathleen is up for a 2010 Female Debut MAC Award as a nominee, and will perform her show AND celebrate her Birthday with "The Book Of Love" at the Metropolitan Room, directed by Lina Koutrakos with Tracy Stark at the piano, this Friday, April 2nd @ 7:30pm. She will have several special guests that evening: Shaynee Rainbolt, Peter Napolitano, Terese Genecco and Julie Reyburn. Plus **all proceeds of the evening will be donated to a literacy charity called The Reading Excellence and Discovery Foundation (**. $20 cover ($15 for MAC/Cabaret Hotline) plus 2-drink minimum. As Kathleen says, “What grater gift can we receive than giving back...I’d just love to get as many people out there as I can to benefit this cause.” The first half came to a close as Erin Cronican knocked the walls down with “Summer in Ohio” from Jason Robert Brown’s The Last Five Years. Erin is involved in developing a new musical called Nab-A-Date, based on classic television dating games.

The second half The Salon began with Special Guest performer-singer-composer-voice teacher Bill Zeffiro, who is well known to The Salon, as the writer of the musical The Road to Ruin (The 1928 Exploitation Musical) and as co-Producer of Big Night Out. Bill sang a “trunk song” cut from The Road to Ruin, a dastardly funny song entitled “La Mosca Espagnola,” and sang “Face in the Mirror,” with music by Bill and lyrics by Chris Ceraso (spelling?), from a musical based on the friendship of Harry Houdini and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Then the lovely Alissa Crea (fresh from her starring role as Little Sally Canfield in the Marymount University reading at the York Theatre of The Road to Ruin) sang the title song.

Next came a bittersweet Classical Corner. Mark Janas played an original piece (inspired by Leonard Bernstein’s “Anniversary” works), written for his late friend Glenn Pickett but this time dedicated to Salon friend Paul James Vasquez, who passed away on Friday. Paul was a regular at The Algonquin Salon, and I remember him bringing in his guitar and expertly singing solos and duets with Tanya Moberly as Picadilly Circus NYC. The piece Mark played featured a constantly played “D” note – almost feeling like a heartbeat throughout – and when the last note was played, Mark once again invoked Paul’s name. It was very touching, and if Mark allows it I will post an mp3 of his performance on the blog soon.

Tanya Moberly herself came up to sing “Untouchable Face” by Ani DiFranco. Tanya is bringing a new show of “Theater Songs” to Don’t Tell Mama May 19th at 9:15 pm, with Mark Janas at the piano and Ritt Henn on bass. After Tanya sang Mark Watson with “When I Grow Too Old to Dream,” a beautiful song requested by Mark’s mother herself. Mark is singing with 2010 Bistro Award winner Sarah Rice at her show “Screen Gems as a special Guest Artist this Friday night! Next, newcomer Whitney Chapman sang a hot uptempo song entitled “Drive.” Beth Falcone (who won 2009 Kleban Award For Most Promising Lyricist In American Musical Theatre and is a member of the BMI Lehman-Engel Advanced Musical Theater Workshop, BMI and the Dramatists Guild of America) sat behind the piano and sang her original “Short Term Heart.” David Ballard sang an original Bobby Cronin song “Reach the Sky” (Bobby was at that moment showcasing his original music at the Metropolitan Room, and David thought it fitting to sing one of Bobby’s songs!). Then Maureen Taylor sang one of my favorite songs, “Children of the Wind” from Rags and Frank Evans closed the evening with “Crazy Mixed Up Me,” a co-lyric with Richard Engquist with music by Doug Katsaros, from the musical Abie's Island Rose.

NEXT SUNDAY APRIL 4th -- The Salon will feature Mark Watson as co-Host with Special Guest performer Gretchen Reinhagen. The theme of the evening is “All the Sounds of the Earth Are Like Music – Songs about Sounds,” so bring out your songs with Trolleys, Bells, Music, Rain, Nature, Traffic, or any other noises (good or bad) you want!

See you then!

-Sierra Rein
The Blogette for The Salon

Spelling mistakes? URL's I missed? Did I mess up? Please email me.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Salon Wrap-Up for March 21, 2010!

March is certainly not going out like a lamb in the Cabaret world! Not only was The Salon and many of its members nominated for MAC Awards, but this past Sunday (the 21st) proved to be a fantastic mix of hot, hot talent. And many many people were inventive and wonderful in bringing theme-related material as well! The evening was co-hosted by Steve "The Whistler" Herbst, and the Special Guest performer was Jenna Esposito.

Steve started off the night's theme of "Heavenly Bodies/Spring Equinox" with "Stars" from Les Miserables. Sunny Leigh then sang a lovely combination of "Another You" and "All of Me." Bill Zeffiro brought up a theme-appropriate song "Home Sweet Heaven" from High Spirits, then Jennifer Wren (who is singing with Brother Josephus at the Highline Ballroom April 4th) sang the sultry "Little Trip to Heaven." Melinda Herbst (wife of co-host Steve) ripped through the Harold Arlen song "When the Sun Comes Out."

Bill Zeffiro describes his "Home Sweet Heaven"

Gretchen Reinhagen then came to the stage, and sang a wonderful version of "Maybe This Time," invoking the spirit of Kaye Ballard (who the song was originally for!). Gretchen performs her tribute to Kaye TONIGHT at the Metropolitan Room at 5pm, and on March 29th at Don't Tell Mama at 7:30pm, she will be a part of the "Under the Covers" series - this time singing the Janis Joplin album "Pearl." Tickets can be purchased here. Gretchen will ALSO BE A GUEST PERFORMER HERE AT THE SALON April 4th! The lady is busy!!! After Gretchen stepped Jeffery Lyle Segal, who sang the hilarious "My Baby Used to Be a Man." Segal is a composer-lyricist-librettist of new musical "Scandalous Behavior" (based on Sheridan's "School for Scandal"), which will recieve a developmental reading under his direction at the York Theatre Company this May! Next sang our favorite singing Etcetera Etc. employee, David BallARD, who sang the youthful ballAD "Younger than Springtime."

I want Neil deGrasse Tyson to be able to see someone sing the next song, which was written by Dan Furman and Ruth Weber, and sung by Tanya Moberly. Entitled "Pluto's Not a Planet Anymore," it featured lyrics about wondering what is true in this world now that Pluto has been demoted out of Planet-dom. Michael Colby next sang, with Arte Bressler at the piano, a song with lyrics by Colby and music by Bressler entitled "Halfway to Heaven," from a new musical called Meester Amerika. Ray Jessel next sang an original piece entitled "No Longer in My Life," a heartfelt ballad. Jessel's last show of "Songs from the Ridiculous to the Romantic" is March 31st at 9:15pm at Don't Tell Mama (1/2 off for MAC members!). Next sang Jennie Litt with David Alpher on the piano with their original song "The Cosmic Perspective." Mark Levy then invoked the spirit of Jimmy Durante with a rousing rendition of "There'll Be Some Changes Made." Jane Glick then sang the lovely ballad "Will You?" and Joan Jaffe heated the stage with the comic song "Acapulco" (Joan says she's in the midst of recording a CD and directing a lot, so she'll have news to come!). Next, Sierra Rein sang the Hugh Martin comedic-ballad song "On Such a Night as This," and Etceterette Arianna sang the dramatic-ballad "What Good Would the Moon Be?" Etceterette Barbara Porteus then closed the first act with "A Whole Lot of Sunshine."

The second half began with Special Guest Jenna Esposito, who debuted at Feinstein's the day after (March 22nd at 8:30pm), sponsored by Patsy's Restaurant. The theme of the show was "That's Amore," so Jenna brought in three wonderful songs in that theme: "(Love is) The Tender Trap," "All the Way" and a wonderful twist on a previously male lyric "Mala Femmena," singing in both Italian and English. Then Rob Langeder - who is bringing back his show "Any Place I Hang My Hat" to the Metropolitan Room April 13th at 7pm - surprised Jenna with an invitation to duet on the song "Around the World," and Jenna gracefully obliged:

Jenna & Rob duet it up!

Mark Janas then opened up his favorite portion of the show, the "Classical Corner," by introducing the familiar theme of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" (also the tune to "Baa Baa Blacksheep" and "The Alphabet Song," wouldn't you know? Very popular). The song was originally penned in France (the tune's title: "Ah! vous dirai-je, Maman" - Yay, Wikipedia for the correct spelling!) and Mozart utilized it as an exercise by writing 12 variations on it. Mark then asked for a style of music - I yelled out "Bossa Nova" - and he began playing a number of variations on the "Twinkle Twinkle" melody. He then brought up Bill Zeffiro, Matthew Ward, and Dan Furman individually to the piano and each gave their own wonderful and unique twists on the song! At the end, Dan & Mark were doing a duet at the keyboard, causing the entire piano to shake (I was sitting right in front). It was incredible!

Tanya Moberly then brought her normal fireworks to the Etcetera Etc stage with "Woman in the Moon." Tanya will be doing a show entitled "Theatre Songs" at Don't Tell Mama May 19th. Then visitors Drew Vandiver (from Los Angeles) and Jennifer Daigle (from Montreal) performed a duet of "Help Me Make it Through the Night." Michael Dydon brought his guitar onstage and sang his original song "Paris in the Rain" - he performs every Tuesday at Il Mattone in Tribeca. Matthew Ward next returned to the piano and reintroduced the concept of "Salon music" (long-titled piano music that is gratifying to play and seemingly difficult...but really not to even a modest piano player). He played "Rustle of Spring (or Fr√ľhlingsrauschen)" by Norwegian composer Christian Sinding (1856-1941: again, thank you Wikipedia). Kevin McMullan then brought in some 60's rock funk with "House of the Rising Sun, and then Mark Watson sang "Love, This is My Song." Mark will be co-hosting The Salon on April 4th!

Finally, The Whistler himself, Steve Herbst, brought out his unique talent and closed the night's festivities with a beautiful duet of "Clair de Lune" with Mark Janas at the piano.

TOMORROW March 28th, 2010 at 7pm (signup at 6:30pm), The Salon returns with Special Co-Host Frank Evans, who is a member of The BMI Steering Committee and producer of a number of projects including Musical Mondays on Theatrical Thursdays (next one April 15th at 6:30pm)and Special Guest Performer-Pianist-Composer-Lyricist Bill Zeffiro himself! The evening's optional theme is "Never Before Heard," so look for those brand new pieces that have just been written, or those songs you've never sung in public before, or perhaps a song that hasn't been heard in the 21st Century? Or maybe it's an improv on a song no one could possible have heard before!

Hope to see you then!

Steve "The Whistler" Herbst closes the evening.

-Sierra Rein
The Blogette for The Salon

Spelling mistakes? URL's I missed? Did I mess up? Please email me.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Salon & Mark Janas Nominated for 2010 MAC Awards!!!! has a list of all the 2010 MAC Award nominees! And many Salon members, past and present, are nominated!

The Salon and Mark Janas have been nominated for a MAC Award under OPEN MIC and for HOST - VARIETY SHOW/SERIES OR OPEN MIC. Mark Janas has also been nominated under the MUSIC DIRECTOR category! And former Producer Peter Napolitano has been nominated both as DIRECTOR and for SONG ("Say Hello," Music by Matthew Ward, Lyrics by Peter Napolitano).

The full list is here. Congratulations to all and best wishes when the winners are announced!

Cynthia Crane
Jenna Esposito
Sue Matsuki
Karen Oberlin
Anne Steele

Hector Coris
Rob Langeder
Kim Smith

Mary Foster Conklin
Tony Middleton
Shaynee Rainbolt
Jane Scheckter

Eric Comstock & Barbara Fasano
Baby Jane Dexter
Terese Genecco
Eric Michael Gillett

Michelle Collier
Kathleen France
Danielle Grabianowski
Nesha Ward

Tom Rocco
Jaron Vesely
Joshua Warr

Ann Hampton Callaway
Liz Callaway
Marilyn Maye
Lillias White

Danny Cohen
Joe DeVito
Joe Matarese

Jane Condon
Mary Dimino
Jodie Wasserman

Cait Doyle
Joan Jaffe
Gretchen Reinhagen

The Accidentals
Marquee Five
Uptown Express

"Closing Notice" Series
The Disney Diaries
Metrostar Talent Challenge
Ricky Ritzel Has Hysterical Blondness

Cabaret Cares
Concerts at Tudor City Greens
Wednesday Night at the Iguana

The After Party
Algonquin Salon, Oak Room Salon, Salon

Jenna Esposito, MetroJam
Mark Janas, Algonquin Salon, Oak Room Salon, Salon
Dana Lorge and Richard Skipper, Wednesday Night at the Iguana

Maria Gentile
Eric Pickering
George Sanders
Anne Steele

Nate Buccieri
Joe Regan
Jerry Scott

Michael Barbieri
David Colbert
Randy Lester
Jean-Pierre Perreaux

Eric Michael Gillett
Barry Kleinbort
Peter Napolitano
Lennie Watts

Mark Janas
Barry Levitt
Alex Rybeck
Tracy Stark
Steven Ray Watkins

Ann Hampton Callaway, "At Last"
Liz Callaway, "Passage of Time"
Daryl Sherman, "Johnny Mercer: A Centennial Tribute"

Jenna Esposito, "To Connie . . . Love Jenna: Jenna Esposito Sings Connie Francis"
Elli Fordyce, "Songs Spun of Gold"
"Grace Notes: Hope and Humor in Hard Times," Grace Cosgrove and guest artists
Susan Winter, "Love Rolls On . . . Live!"
Julian Yeo, "Deep Purple Dreams"

"All Together, All Alone," Music and lyrics by Drew Fomarola
"Don't Say Another Word," Music by Joshua Salzman, Lyrics by Ryan Cunningham
"Finding Beauty," Music and lyrics by Ann Hampton Callaway
"Say Hello," Music by Matthew Ward, Lyrics by Peter Napolitano
"Things That Haunt Me," Music and lyrics by Brett Kristofferson
"This Time, Music" by Tracy Stark, Lyrics by Michael David Quinn
"Union Square," Music and lyrics by Gaby Alter

"An Artificial Tree," Music and lyrics by Nicholas Levin
"Identity Theft," Music and lyrics by Ray Jessel
"The Sacrifice Of Love," Music and lyrics by Joshua H. Cohen
"Two Again," Music and lyrics by Richard Eisenberg
"Understudy Blues," Music by Brian Cimmet, Lyrics by Amanda Yesnowitz

-Sierra Rein
The Blogette for The Salon

Spelling mistakes? URL's I missed? Did I mess up? Please email me.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Tonight! The Salon praises the Heavens and Spring!

Tonight, March 21st, is The Salon! The optional theme is “Heavenly Bodies/Spring Equinox” and will have co-host Steve “The Whistler” Herbst and special guest Jenna Esposito. So pagan or not, bring your songs that evoke the wonderful elements of the sky (stars, clouds, the sun, perhaps a little astrology or love of Pluto?) or maybe you want to sing the praises of Spring-time just around the corner! Or, perhaps a song about the curves of Marilyn Monroe…she had a Heavenly Body after all!

See you there!

-Sierra Rein
The Blogette for The Salon

Spelling mistakes? URL's I missed? Did I mess up? Please email me.

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Salon Wrap-Up for March 14, 2010!

The Ides of March-eve brought us Daylight Saving Time and a bunch of wind and rain, but many braved the elements to attend The Salon open mic on Sunday, March 14th. The optional theme of the evening was “Shaking it Up,” co-hosted by the charming Maureen Taylor and with Bill Zeffiro at the piano. In for Tanya Moberly as Producer was Sue Matsuki, who kept the evening organized. Etceterettes were Erin Cronican and Jan Brenner. Special guest performer was non-other than Rita Gardner, who originated the roles of The Girl in “The Fantasticks” and Rosie in “The Wedding Singer” on Broadway and is a renowned performer in both Film and Television. Rita plans on performing at the Metropolitan Room soon – dates to be announced on her website soon.

Bill and Maureen started the evening out and shook the dust off their feet with the clever duet “Everybody Has the Right to Be Wrong” from the musical “Skyscraper.” Kevin McMullan brought in an original comedy song by Charles Bloom entitled “A Singer and a Blender,” and Bobbie Horowitz followed up with an original do-wop of her own called “Flatbush Serenade.” Joe Regan, Jr (who was praised several times throughout the night as THE historical source of everything Jule Styne and Broadway!) sang “Beautiful Brown Eyes.” Then Edie Stokes donned a Transylvanian accent and performed “Wicked Woman” by Francesca Blumenthal.

Hector Coris (who will have a CD release party for his live-performance album ”Life is Wonderful” on March 16th at 7:30 and March 20th at 4pm at Don’t Tell Mama) performed “As We Stumble Along” from the “Drowsy Chaperone.” Sunny Leigh (who is also having a CD release party at the Triad March 26th at 7pm) then brought out the hot, revengeful song “Before He Cheats.” Next, Ray Jessel performed his lovely new song “Piano Bar” which, as he described on his open mic card, was “not a ballad, not an uptempo, not hip-hop.” But it was a lovely, witty-sweet song, one of the many that he might perform at Don’t Tell Mama on March 17, 24 and 31st.. Stacy Ward McAdams (performing at Lorenzo’s on Staten Island on April 3rd) next sang the first of quite a number of Noel Coward songs for the evening. Then, Helena Grenot sang the fantastic song “White Girls Can’t Sing the Blues,” written by Sue Matsuki. Richard Eisenberg then sang his 2010 Bistro Award-receiving song “Two Again,” and proved with his clever tongue-twisting lyrics why it was thus praised.

Susan Winter then took the stage and provided a masterful rendition of “You’ll See.” Then Tom Hansen, a new visitor to The Salon, performed “Im Valzkammergut” (I hope I typed that right!) and bantered a bit with Maureen Taylor in German. Sarah Rice then brought in a lovely Irish fairy-story ballad entitled “The Singer.” Sarah will bring her Bistro Award-winning show “Screen Gems – Songs of Old Hollywood” back to the Laurie Beechman Theater on April 2, April 26th and April 30th. Next Jenna Esposito sang “Everybody Loves Somebody,” which will be a featured song at her Italian-themed show “That’s Amore: Jenna Sings Love, Italian Style” at Feinstein’s on March 22nd (presented by Patsy's Italian Restaurant). Jenna will also be a special guest at the next Salon on March 21st!). Then, I (Sierra Rein) sang “With Every Breath I Take” from the musical “City of Angels.” Rounding out the first half came Etceterettes Erin Cronican with “I Said It And I’m Glad” from “Subways Are for Sleeping” (she performed the role in the revival of this show, directed by Hector Coris in 2009), and then Jan Brennan, who brought in the a unique take on the “Shakin’ It Up” theme brought in cocktail-inspired “Pour Me A Man” by Fred Barton from “Miss Gulch Returns.”

The second half brought in the special Guest performer of the evening, Rita Gardner. She and Bill Zeffiro sang a wonderful duet-medley of Rogers and Hart for her first piece, and then spoke about her experience as a young singer in New York auditioning – nay, demanding to be seen for the auditions!!! – of “The Fantasticks” when it was first offering auditions. She then sang a wonderful two-song mashup (to use the modern colloquial) of “Try to Remember” and “They Were You” from “The Fantasticks.” Rita’s connection to the lyrics was wonderful and had the room riveted to her every nuance. After Rita, Bill Zeffiro taught us a lesson in original lyrics, and sang the first draft lyrics to many popular Standards including “I Got Rhythm,” “Everything’s Coming up Roses,” “The Man That Got Away,” and “Easter Parade.” He then sang the fiendishly naughty parody lyrics of Cole Porter’s “You’re the Top” as once written by Irving Berlin! Co-host Maureen Taylor heated up the stage with the song “Dancing With the Devil,” Stephanie Zagoren sang the Billy Strayhorn song “A Flower is a Lovesome Thing,” Mathew Ward brought in “Gentleman Friend.” Tying into the parody lyrics of Irving Berlin earlier sung by Bill Zeffiro, Peter Napolitano brought his own twist on “You’re the Top” with “You’re A Flop,” skewering a number of Broadway bombs (regardless of artistic merit!). Next sang David Ballard with “Stormy Weather,” and Abigail Waxman with her original song “After So Many Years.”

We had time at the end of the evening for some repeat performers. Ray Jessel sang “Don’t Be Cross” (yet another Noel Coward), and then Sarah Rice brought up the innocently naughty “Paradise” from “A Woman Commands” (featured in her Screen Gems show). Then, I (Sierra) sang the theme-appropriate “Shakin’ The Blues Away” by Irving Berlin. Helena Grenot next brought the classic song “The Man That Got Away” (You have to sing it at least once in your lifetime!” she said), Jan Brennan sang the ballad “Scotch 'n' Soda,” and Erin Cronican brought out her soprano with the lovely “How Can I Lose You?” which I believe is from the musical "Myths and Hymns.” For the final song of the evening, Stacy Ward McAdams spoke through “Rotten to the Core,” and dedicated it to Ray Jessel. It was suggested that one evening be dedicated to a Coward-off amongst the Noel C aficionados of The Salon – if and when that happens, you’ll read about it here!

Hope to see you at the next Salon on March 21st, which is now themed “Heavenly Bodies/Spring Equinox” and have co-host Steve “The Whistler” Herbst and special guest Jenna Esposito. So start thinking of songs that evoke the wonderful elements of the sky (stars, clouds, the sun, perhaps a little astrology or love of Pluto?) or maybe you want to sing the praises of Spring-time just around the corner! Or, perhaps a song about the curves of Marilyn Monroe…she had a Heavenly Body after all!

Photo by: ZedZap, utilized under a Creative Commons license.

See you then.

-Sierra Rein
The Blogette for The Salon

Spelling mistakes? URL's I missed? Did I mess up? Please email me.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Tomorrow - The Salon Shakes it Up!

The optional theme for tomorrow evening is "SHAKIN' IT UP".

Remember, any material, on or off theme, is always welcome at Salon!

Our Co-Host for the evening will be the Lovely Maureen Taylor! Maureen is planning on recording a Bob Merrill CD and will keep you posted on the date to invite you all to be a part of the live recording.

Bill Zeffiro will be filling in for Mark Janas as Guest Host/Pianist for the evening and Sue Matsuki will be filling in for Tanya Moberly as Guest Producer.

Our Special Guest will be the Marvelous Rita Gardner! As this year marks the 50th Anniversary of the birth of THE FANTASTICKS, Rita – the original Luisa - continues to perform her one-woman show TRY TO REMEMBER – A LOOK BACK AT OFF-BROADWAY at various colleges and universities around the country.

There will be a $10 cash cover at the door, collected by 'Etceterette', Erin Cronican, and a $10 food/drink minimum (cash or credit) per person. The menu is affordable and delicious. (For further info visit or call 212-399-4141).There are no reservations; seating is on a first come/ first served basis, with one intermission. Doors open at 6:15 and sign up begins at 6:30 with 'Etceterette', Jan Brennan .

Salon will now continue every Sunday through June!

March 21st: “Heavenly Bodies/Spring Equinox”
Co-Host: Steve 'The Whistler' Herbst
Special Guest: Jenna Esposito

March 28th: “Never Before Heard”:
Co-Host Frank Evans
Special Guest: Bill Zeffiro

April 4th: “All the Sounds of the Earth Are Like Music – Songs about Sounds”
Co-Host: Mark Watson
Special Guest: Gretchen Reinhagen

April 11th: “ MAC Attack”
Co-Host: Lennie Watts
Special Guest: TBA

-Sierra Rein
The Blogette for The Salon

Spelling mistakes? URL's I missed? Did I mess up? Please email me.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


The 2010 Bistro Silver Anniversary Awards announced its list of recipients today, and The Salon was given a Special Award to "The Salon, Created and hosted by Mark Janas, The Algonquin Hotel, Etcetera Etcetera"!

There were a NUMBER of other Salon-regulars on the list as well, among them:

DANIELLE GRABIANOWSKI "Ira Eaker Special Achievement Award, Metropolitan Room, Don’t Tell Mama"

GRETCHEN REINHAGEN "Tribute Show: 'Special Kaye: A Tribute to the Incomparable Kaye Ballard' Metropolitan Room"

SARAH RICE "Theme Show 'Screen Gems РSongs of Old Hollywood' Laurie Beechman Theatre at West Bank Café"

THE CONCERTS AT TUDOR CITY GREENS "Special Award 'TudorCityGreensAug09 Created and produced by RAISSA KATONA BENNETT"

PETER NAPOLITANO "BMI Award for Director"

JULIE REYBURN "CD, CD, "Live at Feinstein’s'"

RICHARD EISENBERG "Special Material 'Two Again'"

Read the rest of the wonderful recipients (yay Mitzi Gaynor's Bob Harrington Lifetime Achievement Award!) here

-Sierra Rein
The Blogette for The Salon

Spelling mistakes? URL's I missed? Did I mess up? Please email me.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Salon Wrapup for February 28, 2010

The powers that be deemed it that both Blogettes for the Salon - Erin Cronican and myself, be too ill to attend the Salon on the 28th. As Tanya emailed me, "Richard Skipper was astounding as Carol Channing, Dana Lorge was brilliant as our Special Guest, and the visit from Marilyn Maye was amazing." So, I'm most put out by my immune system to have missed the event! But Tanya did email me the list of singers for the show that evening, and I included them here along with a few of their performances I know are coming up in the month of March.

For those who haven't seen Richard Skipper as Carol Channing, please visit his website for more on the history of this fantastic tribute. Please see the bottom of this blog for information on his upcoming appearance as Carol on March 13th!


The first half of the evening started off with Richard Skipper as Carol Channing. Next sang Mark Levy, Sigali Hamberger (who has two upcoming shows at the Metropolitan Room late March!), and a duo of Michael McDonald w/Jillian Laurain on Piano & Self on Harmonica (is this the first Harmonica at the Salon?!). Barry Levitt then took over the piano from Mark and accompanied Jillian Laurain, then Dora Rubin. Next sang Michael Colby, Joey Infante, and Gretchen Reinhagen (who is bringing back her Kaye Ballard tribute to the Metropolitan Room March 27th), Stacy Ward MacAdams - who accompanied himself on piano, Camille Savitz w/Barry Levitt and Helena Grenot w/Barry Levitt, Maureen Taylor, Arianna, the always lovely Sue Matsuki, and Marnie Klar. The wonderful, legendary Marilyn Maye finished off the first half with two songs.

The second half, still hosted and introduced by "Carol Channing" herself, began with a three-song set by the evening's guest artist, Dana Lorge. Sam Bagala then took over the Classical Corner segment with two pieces. Next sang Tanya Moberly, Cindy Marchionda, Richie Eisenberg, and Michelle Collier (who has her "Tribute to Hollywood Blondes" at Don't Tell Mama March 13th). Barry Levitt then accompanied Sunny Leigh, then Janice Hall. Then sang Mark Watson, who will be co-hosting the Salon on April 4th with the theme of “All the Sounds of the Earth Are Like Music – Songs About Sounds.” The last singers of the evening were Bobbie Horowitz, David Ballard, Mary Lahti, and Joe Regan, Jr. Carol Channing completed the show with one final song for the evening.

March 13th at 9:30pm

with Tim Taylor on Piano
36 Broad Street, Bloomfield Center, Bloomfield, NJ
$25 ticket, ($12 food/drink min. pp in cabaret room)
Reservations: 973-743-7209.
Following the show, please stay and dance in the main lounge.

Richard Skipper as Carol Channing - Dillon's Supper Club, NYC - Jan 10, 2004
Photo by Kate Lacey, courtesy New York Post.

-Sierra Rein
The Blogette for The Salon

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No Salon this Sunday (Hello Oscars!) - but check out future Salon guests & hosts & themes (oh my!)


We return to Etcetera, Etcetera - 352 West 44th Street (between 8th & 9th Ave) - on March 14th from 7-10:30pm with:

Optional Theme: “Shakin' It Up”
Co-Host: Maureen Taylor
Guest Host/Pianist: Bill Zeffiro
Special Guest: Rita Gardner
Guest Producer: Sue Matsuki

There will be a $10 cash cover at the door, collected by 'Etceterette', Erin Cronican, and a $10 food/drink minimum (cash or credit) per person. The menu is affordable and delicious. (For further info visit or call 212-399-4141).There are no reservations; seating is on a first come/ first served basis, with one intermission. Doors open at 6:15 and sign up begins at 6:30 with 'Etceterette', Jan Brennan .

Salon will now continue Every Sunday through June!

March 21st: “Heavenly Bodies/Spring Equinox”
Co-Host: Steve 'The Whistler' Herbst
Special Guest: Jenna Esposito

March 28th: “Never Before Heard”:
Co-Host Frank Evans
Special Guest: Bill Zeffiro

April 4th: “All the Sounds of the Earth Are Like Music – Songs About Sounds”
Co-Host: Mark Watson
Special Guest: Gretchen Reinhagen

-Sierra Rein
The Blogette for The Salon

Spelling mistakes? URL's I missed? Did I mess up? Please email me.